Displaying posts tagged under "Christine Jones"
Jones jumps headfirst into politics with gubernatorial bid.
Christine Jones, former General Counsel & Corporate Secretary for GoDaddy, announced that she will run for Governor of Arizona.
Jones left the company last year after a decade in high profile roles at the fast growing domain name registrar and web services firm.
Having a leading role at a company that created thousands of jobs in the state will no doubt help her bid.
Jones and other GoDaddy executives have a history of backing Republican politicians. In 2008 Jones acted as a “bundler” for John McCain, raising $29,050. During the 2012 election cycle, The GoDaddy.com PAC donated primarily to republican candidates, and Go Daddy founder Bob Parsons chipped in $1 million to Mitt Romney’s PAC.
Politics being what it is, I suspect a couple things that happened during her tenure will be brought up on the campaign trail. First, she was a supporter of the Stop Online Privacy Act, or SOPA, which eventually died after a massive online uprising. Second, she played a role in GoDaddy’s controversial Super Bowl commercials. I mean that literally – she had a cameo in the company’s 2009 “Enhancement” commercial, sitting next to Danica Patrick. That might not sit well with some conservative Republican voters.
Although her legal position at GoDaddy often put her in the crossfires, even some domain industry professionals who had disagreements with her over the years have told me they have the utmost respect for her.
Major changes at the top of the world’s largest domain name registrar.
In late 2011 Go Daddy closed on an investment from KKR, Silver Lake, and Technology Crossover Ventures.
We all knew changes would result, but how they manifested themselves in the C-suite was a big story this year.
When the investment closed last year, Go Daddy founder Bob Parsons stepped down from the CEO position and tapped longtime Go Daddy president Warren Adelman to fill his shoes.
The first big executive change under Adelman’s leadership was the departure of general counsel Christine Jones.
It was the next person to go that was a big shocker: Adelman himself.
He announced his departure after just seven months as CEO.
Adelman was replaced by Scott Wagner, a member of KKR’s portfolio operations team, on an interim basis.
Last week Go Daddy announced it has found its new CEO — former Yahoo! Chief Product Officer Blake Irving.
It recently named two more senior executives, which means a transition is in full effect.
It all points to a 2013 where a PE-backed Go Daddy goes long on acquisitions, product line expansion, and international growth.
A long time fixture at Go Daddy is moving on.
Christine Jones, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary for Go Daddy, will leave the company Friday after 10 years.
Jones managed all legal affairs for the company and frequently represented the company as a witness at congressional hearings. She was a key player at the company and the industry given her role in lobbying in Washington. She even had a cameo in GoDaddy’s 2009 “enhancement” Super Bowl commercial.
During her ten years at the company she watched it grow from a small startup to a multi-billion dollar company, including taking on an investment from PE firms last year.
But her tenure wasn’t always smooth sailing. Most recently, Jones got caught up in SOPA as she originally testified to congress in favor of the bill. GoDaddy later relented and changed its stance on the bill, but its position resulted in a good number of customers transferring their domains to competitors.
Go Daddy drops .cn, but Chinese can still register domain names at the registrar.
In a hearing before the Congressional-Executive Commission on China today in Washington, Go Daddy Group Executive Vice-President and General Counsel Christine Jones explained that the company will no longer offer .cn domain names under strict requirements imposed by China.
On January 5, .Cn registry CNNIC announced without warning that non-Chinese registrars were no longer allowed to register .cn domain names to customers. This was part of a crack down on criminal activity and, most likely, free speech on .cn domain names. It then re-opened registration to registrars such as Arizona-based Go Daddy, but required them to collect a color headshot photo identification, business identification (including a Chinese business registration number), and physical signed registration forms from the registrant.
In light of the new requirements, Go Daddy decided to not re-introduce .cn registrations on its site.
But that’s where things get bad. China also required the 1,200 registrants who have registered 27,000 .cn domain names at Go Daddy to provide the same information — headshot, ID, and signed registration forms — or risk losing their domain names. Jones testified that only about 20% of Go Daddy customers provided this information and the others are at risk of losing their domain names.
Some media reports today are suggesting that Go Daddy will no longer offer registrations in China. But to be clear, it is merely dropping .cn as a registration option. Chinese citizens can still register unrestricted domain names such as .com through Go Daddy.
ICANN does not have control over what countries do with country code top level domain names. Other countries have made similarly retro-active moves, such as Argentina retroactively limiting the number of domains that could be registered.
Question and answer period at hearing gets testy.
The real fireworks started when the committee members asked questions of the witnesses. Committee chairman Rick Boucher (D-Virginia) started the questioning by following up on Verizon’s comments about cybersquatting. (Verizon had said that cybersquatting is still rampant and that many of the cybersquatters are actually ICANN-accredited registrars.)
Boucher addressed ICANN president and CEO Paul Twomey about this, asking how registrars that are cybersquatters are allowed to exist. Twomey said ICANN has significant resources committed to enforcing its registrar agreements. Verizon Vice President Sarah Deutsch responded that ICANN hasn’t taken any steps against registrars that are cybersquatters. Twomey said his recollection is that they have taken action against cybersquatter registrars, but sometimes they take action under a different contract breach for expediency.
Boucher asked Twomey to write a letter explaining what ICANN has done to address cybersquatting registrars and the number of related de-accreditations.
Rep. Cliff Stearns, (R – FL) proceeded to blast ICANN’s financial surplus. He said ICANN should start acting like a non-profit and use excess money to lower costs to registrars and registrants. Stearns continued to berate Twomey, suggesting the current $7M surplus should be used to address cybersquatting or make domain names cheaper for consumers.
Stearns addressed Thomas Lenard, president of the Technology Policy Institute, during his questioning of Twomey. Stearns said that ICANN is able to choose what it does with the money because it is only accountable to itself.
Rep. John Dingell (D – MI) then asked a series of yes or no questions, such as if ICANN’s contract with VeriSign was transparent. For most questions the NTIA representative abstained, ICANN answered yes, VeriSign went with ICANN some of the time, and the rest of the witnesses replied ‘no’.
Next there was a bit of a showdown between GoDaddy’s General Counsel Christine Jones and Twomey. Jones chided ICANN for lack of transparency, citing its private board meetings and contract negotiations with registrars. Jones said Go Daddy has made several requests to ICANN for information but “we basically get stonewalled”. Twomey responded that Jones’ claims weren’t true, but Rep. John Shadegg ( R – AZ) strongly questioned Twomey’s assertions. For example, he questioned if Twomey’s assertion of meeting transcripts were true or if there were just meeting minutes.
I spoke with Jones after the hearing concluded. She was very happy with “huge turnout on that type of hearing” by representatives. She said ICANN won’t be accountable if it’s only accountable to itself. For example, ICANN’s outside review boards operate under rules created by ICANN’s board, and ICANN’s board ultimately decides what action to take based on the outside review.
Jones said she thinks most representatives want to extend the JPA “not because they want the U.S. government to have a heavy hand in the internet, but because the transition to private sector management is still in process. We just haven’t quite reached that destination yet.” Jones continued, “It’s not a partisan or controversial issue. Let’s keep the internet safe and secure until ICANN can stand on its two feet to do that.”